Why does my baby have green poop?
As much as you love your little bundle of joy, changing a diaper is a dreaded task, especially if you are a parent that has a weak stomach. Did you know that you can tell a lot about your infant’s health by examining their feces? When your baby was born, you probably noticed that its first bowel movements were gooey, and a tarry black or dark green color. This fecal matter is called meconium, and it’s a release of everything your newborn ingested in the womb.
After your baby starts breastfeeding or taking a bottle, its poop will usually be a different color. Breastfed babies often have a pale-yellow stool while a bottle-fed baby will have feces that are a darker yellow or tan with a touch of green. Your baby’s poop will also develop a distinct odor. If your baby is pooping green, there is a good reason.
Why is my baby pooping green? Here is a handy parent’s guide to green baby poop and what it could in. Make sure to talk to your pediatrician about any changes or concerns in your baby’s diet and elimination habits, like green baby poop.
Almost all parents have seen green baby poop at least once. Is green baby poop cause for alarm? If you are breastfeeding, it’s normal to see your baby pooping green after the first few days. Most green baby poop cases do not cause for alarm. Still, your pediatrician should be consulted if you feel their stool is concerning. Green baby poop can be absolutely normal and no cause for alarm. However, only you know changes in your baby’s stool that should be discussed with a medical professional. Here are some common reasons why you may see various hues in your baby’s stool.
1. Your Diet Of Iron Rich Foods
If you are a breastfeeding mother who is trying to boost her nutrition by eating plenty of green vegetables, then it could be causing a variation of colors to your baby’s stool. Your poop may be green tinged because of the iron-rich properties of vegetables like spinach and kale. Any food or drink that has a lot of artificial green or blue food coloring can also go through your system and cause green baby poop. Unless your baby is experiencing painful gas, diarrhea, or constipation, this kind of green baby poop is harmless.
2. Your Baby is Experiencing Lactose Overload
When you see your baby pooping green, another common cause is lactose overload. Sometimes, mother’s milk has a high concentration of milk sugar, which is lactose. It may also have a lower portion of milk fat. The excess lactose will help your baby gain weight; however, it can cause digestive problems. In addition to painful gas and loose stools, you may see your baby pooping green. Consult your pediatrician or breastfeeding specialist. The doctor may suggest scheduled feedings to limit your baby’s lactose intake.
3. The Nutrients In Your Milk Is Not Sufficient
Lactose overload can be a problem, but if your baby isn’t getting enough lactose in their milk, it too can be an issue. If you see your baby pooing green in small amounts, it may not be getting enough milk or lactose in the milk. Your baby may constantly be feeding because of hunger, and it’s caused by not getting the vital nutrients they need. In this case, your milk could be lacking.
Consult with your pediatrician and breastfeeding specialist to check your milk and your baby’s nutrient levels. They will help you form a plan to increase your milk production so that your infant will have enough nourishment. With some help from experts, it could be the end of baby pooping green.
4. Baby Has A Virus
If your baby has a stomachache or indigestion, then green baby poop is normal. Maybe your child is getting over a cold or other illness. Any viral or bacterial infection can cause green baby poop. Talk to your pediatrician if your infant continues to suffer digestive problems or has other health concerns. Old-timers once said that a person had “cold on their bowels” when they saw stools in hues of green.
5. Medications Are Changing Stool Colors
Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic if you or your baby has certain bacterial infections. Many of these antibiotics will interact with stomach acids, and you may see your baby pooping green. The fecal color usually goes back to normal when the round of antibiotics is finished, and the infection is cured. If you are a nursing mom who is taking antibiotics, baby’s poop should be normal when you stop taking them. Other medications and baby vaccinations may cause similar reactions. See your pediatrician if green poop continues or you see other alarming symptoms.
6. Allergies To Milk
Unfortunately, many babies are lactose intolerant and will experience allergic reactions after ingesting cow’s milk. Signs and symptoms may include extreme gas, fussiness, sniffles, eczema, and your baby pooping green. If you suspect that your infant is lactose intolerant, your pediatrician may run tests and use the process of elimination to see if milk is the cause. He or she may suggest a lactose-free formula that your baby can take without further allergy problems. Sometimes, switching to goat’s milk relieves the issue.
7. Baby Is Teething
Teething is one of the most frustrating milestones for parents and their infants. Your baby will be cranky, feverish, and almost inconsolable. During this painful period, you may see your baby pooping green. As your baby produces more saliva to soothe swollen and aching gums, it gets swallowed and may give a baby lose, green stools. Comfort baby with a cold teething ring or a teething biscuit. If your child has a high or persistent fever, baby pooping green continues, then you should see your pediatrician immediately.
8. Their Diet Is To Blame
When your baby turns six months old and is introduced to soft foods, any green vegetable puree will show up as green poop in the diaper. The usual culprits are pureed peas and green beans. Unless your child is having allergic reactions, this type of green poop is harmless.
Other Colors of Concern
Why is my baby pooping green? As you can see, there are several reasons. Most of them are completely harmless, but it’s always safe to ask a pediatrician just in case. The bowel colors of your child will change often. While their diet influences most, there are some things that you need to watch. For instance, white feces are a serious matter. The bowels only produce white stool when the liver is not functioning correctly, and the food is not being digested properly. Seek medical attention immediately if you see this color.
Dark and tar-like stools, past the initial meconium, can indicate that the child has an internal bleed. It can be caused by numerous things and all need to be evaluated by a medical expert. You may see hues of red or orange, but these are mostly caused by what they have drunk or ate. However, red stools can also indicate blood. Like baby pooping green, their diet plays a big part in what comes out on the other end.
Eating foods like beets can cause the poop to be pink. As with any color variations, the stool should return to a natural tan or brown color within a couple of movements. If this does not happen, then it’s time to investigate the root cause.
It’s Not Always About the Hue
As much as we have focused on color, we must also discuss problems with the smell. Did you know that the smell of the feces can mean everything about your child’s health? The first few bowel movements in a child’s life can clear the room as they smell so bad. It’s to be expected since they are passing excrement that has sat in the bowels for more than nine months. A breastfed baby will have hardly any smell to their poop, and a bottle-fed baby’s poop will have just a slight odor.
If a baby has a bowel movement each day, there shouldn’t be much smell. Its’ when it sits in the intestines for extended periods that it causes quite an aroma. If your baby’s stool is triggering your gag reflexes continuously, then it could be a sign that they have an allergy, or they are having other stomach issues.
Always discuss any bowel problems, including fowl smells, with your pediatrician. Though baby pooping green is often cause for alarm, it’s not the only color to worry about. Your doctor will understand as you are not the first person to come to them with such concerns. If the stool is all over the place with color and aromas, keep a journal. Your doctor will be interested in the patterns if they think there is a need for further testing.